Today feels different to me, probably because I'm not sitting in a trailer typing in the Orioles' lineup and wondering when the temperature might crack 60 degrees.
We've got our first night game here and the clubhouse won't open to the media until 2 p.m. What will you do without me?
I stayed in bed a little longer this morning, but not much. I didn't want to waste my time away from the ballpark. I need to hit the gym and the Verizon store, where I'm hoping they can update some features on my BlackBerry and maybe figure out how to make my wireless card compatible with this emergency "ThinkPad."
I think I need to find something better to do.
A "home" night game in spring training is a rarity for the local beat writers. It was no longer possible at Fort Lauderdale Stadium, and I've heard three reasons from different people who worked there:
A. The lights wouldn't turn on.
B. The lights wouldn't turn back off.
C. Nobody wanted to flip the switch and risk electrocution.
I'm pretty sure B and C are the correct answers.
One of the hurricanes really messed up the place.
We also get to see the Pittsburgh Pirates, which is even more of a rarity than a night game. And I'll totally flip out if Omar Moreno's wife is blowing a whistle in the stands.
(True Orioles fans get the reference - and just threw something against the wall.)
By the way, did you know Moreno's 96 steals in 1980 are the most for any player who didn't lead the majors? Ron LeFlore edged him out with 97. Says so in Wikipedia, so it must be true.
Chris Tillman gets the start tonight, and he can put those back issues further behind him. I no longer ask how he's feeling every time we make eye contact. He looked fine in bullpen sessions, throwing live BP and logging an inning in the intrasquad game.
Jim Johnson and Alfredo Simon will follow Tillman to the mound. Zach Duke starts for the Pirates, with Daniel McCutchen, Virgil Vasquez, Evan Meek, Javier Lopez and Jeremy Powell also scheduled to pitch.
They are fam-a-lee.
OK, I'll stop.
I'll check on Felix Pie later. He's 2-for-2 with a triple and home run, but he's also hurt again.
Pie downplayed the injury. Manager Dave Trembley downplayed the injury. That means I need to check on Felix Pie later.
He didn't look happy as he left the clubhouse during yesterday's game and was ambushed by reporters who had just finished talking to Brian Matusz. And this is a guy who's been off-the-charts bubbly since camp opened.
One of my favorite moments of the spring: The Sun's Peter Schmuck veering away from the injury questions, and trying to get a little more out of a solemn Pie.
Schmuck: "You're hitting the ball great."
Pie: "Thank you."
Pie walked away, assuming we were finished and appreciating the compliment. We laughed the entire way back to the press box.